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Historical Review of Swift 804 Audubon Binoculars

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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 00:38   #276
WJC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joker9937 View Post
Thank you! Impressive sleuthing.

I guess I could have tried googling the initials. I assumed it was something that would have been unique to the binocular and not for whom it was produced. Pretty interesting nonetheless. Thank you.

The serial number is either 26-843572 or 26-843672. That 6 digit isn't perfectly clear in the pic. I will clarify, once I get home today.
I believe you can see:

— The line across the top of the character is a straight line signifying a “5.”
— There is a space on the left side of the character where one would expect it to be, signifying a “5.”
— The left side of the character is partially curved and partially straight, signifying a “5.”
— In a “6,” seen more clearly, we see the left side has no straight portion at all.

My 0.02 cents. And with that and a buck and a half ... you can buy a Coke.

Bill
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 00:47   #277
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So, the first two digits indicate that your SCE binocular was made in 1984. I've reposted your photo below, along with the cover of the 1980 Swift catalog showing a Type 2 with the focus wheel above the top hinge. (Note that it came from Captain's Nautical Supplies, Portland, Oregon — and may still have Bill's latent fingerprints on it.)

On yours, the location of the focus wheel is between the hinges like a Type 3 made for Pyser during that period, but the right cover plate is identical to the markings for the Type 2. The left cover plate, in addition to having the SCE logo, was also stenciled with larger letters and is missing the words 'feather-weight.' My speculation is that Southern California Edison probably placed a special order with Swift, selected the European design, and re-stenciled the left cover plate. We'll never know for sure.

Ed
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 09:38   #278
Joker9937
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Bill and Ed, thank you both.

I appreciate the detail. They are nice binos regardless of the customization. Thanks, again.
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 18:17   #279
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Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
So, the first two digits indicate that your SCE binocular was made in 1984. I've reposted your photo below, along with the cover of the 1980 Swift catalog showing a Type 2 with the focus wheel above the top hinge. (Note that it came from Captain's Nautical Supplies, Portland, Oregon — and may still have Bill's latent fingerprints on it.)

On yours, the location of the focus wheel is between the hinges like a Type 3 made for Pyser during that period, but the right cover plate is identical to the markings for the Type 2. The left cover plate, in addition to having the SCE logo, was also stenciled with larger letters and is missing the words 'feather-weight.' My speculation is that Southern California Edison probably placed a special order with Swift, selected the European design, and re-stenciled the left cover plate. We'll never know for sure.

Ed
I don't think my fingerprints would be on it. Both stores had the same corporate head, but little else in common. I was embarrassed by some of the things they did there. Their OM wannabe would order a $69 Celestron refractor and then bellyache to Victor that it didn't have the fit, finish, and performance of a Genesis.

Bill
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